Instagram for Authors How to Become Notable in the Press | By Dennis Schleicher

If you’re an author, you know marketing your books is essential to success. And one of the best ways to market your books is through social media. Instagram is an excellent platform for sharing your work with potential readers. But how can you make the most of Instagram as an author?

“Some days, I feel like a cow walking through a field of tall grass. Can I do it? YES, I can.” –Dennis Schleicher

Becoming Notable

One of the best ways to market your books on Instagram is to become notable in the press. When you’re featured in important news in articles, blog posts, or other forms of media, be sure to share those links on your Instagram account. This will help show potential readers that you’re an authority in your field.

I recently appeared in multiple news authoritative sites, including the Conservative Daily News; An in-depth Interview with Hate-Crime Survivor now Influencer Dennis Schleicher

Space Coast Daily featured Best-selling Author Dennis Schleicher on Changing from Protester to Active Member of the LDS Church

The Run Times LGBTQ Advocate Turned Christian Author: Dennis Schleicher

NewsWebsite.com Notable Speaker Dennis Schleicher Discusses Bringing Diversity and Inclusion to the Church

NewsTrail.com Guest Speaker Dennis Schleicher To Appear At Upcoming Huntington Beach Single Adult Conference

Influence FROM LGBT ADVOCATE TO GAY CHRISTIAN PIONEER – DENNIS SCHLEICHER

My friend Elizabeth Saede wrote a great article about myselp Pioneer Day. Are you a Pioneer, Patriot or Pilgrim? For ENews20.com

PR Harold Daley Dennis Schleicher Chose a Path of Inspiration After Devastation

The Kerplunk – We Report Buzzworthy News Meet Dennis Schleicher, a New Pioneer for LGBT in the Faith Community

FilmDaily Famous LGBTQ Speaker Dennis Schleicher To Address Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers in Colorado

The Augusta Free Press How LGBTQ advocate Dennis Schleicher became the president of the Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association

Euro Weekly News How Dennis Schleicher has turned adversity into an asset with public speaking

As you can see, becoming notable has its benefits. Not only does it help you sell books, but it also helps you get your name out there and build your brand. If you’re looking to become more notable as an author, then here are some tips:

1. Use social media platforms like Instagram to share your work with potential readers.

2. Seek out opportunities to be interviewed or featured in the press.

3. Attend events and conferences related to your book’s subject matter.

4. Speak at events and conferences about your book’s subject matter.

5. Connect with other authors and influencers in your field.

By following these tips, you can maximize your reach on Instagram and connect with potential readers worldwide. So what are you waiting for? Start sharing your work today!

If you cannot do this, I recommend hiring a publicist.

This post was written by Dennis Schleicher, an author, book marketer, and literary agent. For more tips on marketing your books, public speaker, and influencer, check out my website at www.dennisschleicher.net or check out my Instagram profile and see how I built it to 17,000+ followers @DenSchleicher

New Book Alert: Heather’s Mannequin by Corey Toomey

Connecticut Authors and Publisher’s Association is happy to share that one of our members, Corey Toomey published his New Adult Fiction book Heather’s Mannequin on April 8, 2022.

About the book:

THE HEART-STOPPING DEBUT FROM ATHENA’S DREAM PUBLISHING—AN ACTION ADVENTURE COMBINING NEW ADULT FICTION AND CLASSIC LITERATURE. Cast out of a world that destroyed half of her body and much of her mind, Heather Zlamanowski retreats to a forested haven, getting by with the aid of prosthetic limbs. The world can’t take what is left of me. Or so she thinks. Outside her home, a war draws near. Outside the forest, evil forces conspire against her. One day, she is forced to make an impossible choice to save a young child—a refugee of the approaching conflict. She must venture into a war zone at the risk of destroying her broken body. And shattering her fragile mind. With surprising twists, lyrical prose, and unforgettable characters, Heather’s Mannequin is an unflinching examination of trauma and the attendant victimhood of our times.

From the Author:

The story’s about a young, disabled woman, who’s clearly gone through harrowing ordeals, forced to venture into the most destructive place imaginable: a war zone. Her objective is to find and save a young girl in order to attain a sense of validation and belonging somewhere. Heather’s Mannequin is influenced by my own experiences as a disabled individual and the painful lessons I had to learn along the way. I hope the book’s message finds relevance and successfully addresses today’s victimhood culture.

About the Author:

I was born in Manchester, Connecticut in 1991. The writer’s bug bit me with its ink-dripping fangs at an early age (my mother will tell you all about it!) As a heavy metal enthusiast, I filled out spiral notebook after spiral notebook with lyrics about nuclear annihilation, fictional monsters, and mental illness. For much of my life, I figured writing novels was a pipe dream and put it on the back burner until I was 27. After getting the burnout of my life from working a dead-end warehouse job, I went home and started punching the keys until Heather’s Mannequin was done. I haven’t looked back since.

Connect with Corey:

coreytoomey.com
athenasdream.com
Twitter: @coreytoomeyCT
Instagram: coreytoomey1
Facebook: @coreytoomey1

Ways To Make Your Interview Great

Congratulations, you’ve scored an author interview! But… now what? For as exciting as it is to get publicity for your book, it’s equally nerve-wracking for many. Generally speaking, we’re kind of known for being an introverted, limelight shunning crowd, us authors. Despite our reclusive tendencies, we know this is what we need to do to help our book babies get out into the universe. Good news. I can help you get through it… and hopefully even enjoy it!

Fun Fact…

When I started my authorship journey, I never, ever imagined myself doing author events, speaking engagements, and certainly not hosting an audio/video podcast. Yet, here I am, doing all the things. And for the most part, I love all of it (the natural introvert in me always needs to “decompress” after). Sure, I get nervous (every single time). But the experience and benefit outweigh the jitters. I get to learn about new books, discover other author’s process, and best of all, help fellow authors on their journey.

Authors Helping Authors

I discovered early on that my fellow, more seasoned authors love to share their knowledge, and it’s one of the things I love best about our “Writer’s Tribe” (and why I named my show The Writer’s Tribe Talk Show). So, in that same vein, I’d like to share with you my tips for a successful (video) interview. (I share these tips in THIS episode of the Writer’s Tribe Talk Show)

First, The Visual Do’s

  • Wipe your camera lens with a soft cloth to remove any fingerprints
  • Have your light source (window, lamp) facing you, not behind you.
  • Adjust your camera/laptop to place your face & torso center screen.
  • Turn your phones off or to silent
  • Video interviews (via Zoom or similar) typically shoot from the torso up, so dress for business up top and however the heck you want below camera.
  • Have your book handy if you’d like, but we do show a screenshot of your book periodically throughout the episode
  • Near the end of the interview, Elsa will ask you to share where readers can find you. Have your social media links, website, and any author events you have coming up ready!

And The Don’ts

  • Don’t get up and walk out of the camera’s view (Yes, I’ve had guests do this)
  • Don’t stare at the interviewer’s image on your screen, but rather the camera eye
  • Don’t fidget
  • Don’t slouch

As For the Q & A…

  • If you’re anxious about what the interviewer might ask, request they share their questions prior. Sending the host a Podcast one-sheet (brief bio, description of your book(s), headshot, book cover, and some suggested questions is a HUGE help for both interviewer & interviewee!
  • Have you answers ready beforehand, and review them, if possible.
  • Know your website links, upcoming events, and social media handles ready to share
  • Relax!

I know, that last one may be next to impossible, but try anyway. Change the voice in your head from saying, “I’m so nervous” to “I’m so excited.” It’s a psychological trick that’s been proven to work! Personally, I treat every interviewee as if we’re friends having a great chat about that thing we love -writing – and I always suggest they do the same. Remember, you’re talking about the subjects you know better than anyone else: You and Your Books!


Along with advice/informational episodes & industry insider interviews like THIS, I offer a service to authors trying to establish their platform and presence called Spotlight Author Interviews. If you’d like to learn more about this amazing and fun opportunity, I’d love to hear from you HERE.

About Elsa Kurt

Elsa is a multi-genre author who has penned over 25 books, including twelve contemporary women’s novelsHer fiction stories explore the complex and relatable experiences of everyday life – the love & laughter, the heartbreak & sorrow, and everything in between. She finds the extraordinary in ordinary lives and puts you in the front seat of every story. Elsa has also written several children’s books, all with themes of encouragement, empowerment & uplifting messaging.

 In 2022, Elsa launched The Writer’s Tribe Talk Show, an audio & video podcast for authors & a line of author merchandise in her Writer’s Tribe Store with clothing and more for authors & aspiring authors. Elsa also created three lines of apparel, accessories, & home decor: EKS Store with show & first responder merchandise,iGoodhuman, and Very Sweary Stuff. 

As of 2022, she is the current Vice President of the Connecticut Authors & Publishers AssociationElsa has also embraced the fun and entertaining world of Tik Tok as theotherelsa.

New Book Alert: Amidst the Darkness by Debbie Tosun Kilday

Connecticut Authors and Publisher’s Association is happy to share that one of our members, and longtime board member, Debbie Tosun Kilday published her poetry book Amidst the Darkness on March 17, 2022.

About the book:

“Amidst the Darkness”, by Debbie Tosun Kilday is a series of poems the author writes by observing people, her surroundings, using her feelings, and her photographs, resulting in a collection of real world poetry.

From the Author:

I write poetry about subjects everyone can relate to. Subjects relating to feelings of love, or losing someone you love, whether it be a breakup or death. I also write about memories from my own past or memories others have shared with me. Other subjects I write about are natural resources like water, forests, and landscapes and the importance of protecting them. I try to use my photographs to spark feelings in others.

About the Author:

Debbie Tosun Kilday is a next generation Beat Poet, award winning published author, writer, nature photographer, illustrator, artist, and expert high-roller slot player. Debbie is the owner/CEO of the “National Beat Poetry Foundation, Inc.” (NBPF) (2016-Present), and its festivals & “New Generation Beat Publications”(2022-Present). She is also the owner of Kilday Krafts (1981-Present) Debbie is Special Events Director of the Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association, (CAPA) (2005-Present) She is a Past President of the Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association, (CAPA) (2014-2016).

Connect with Debbie:

Website- http://nationalbeatpoetryfoundation.org
http://www.kildaykrafts.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/debbiet.kilday
Instagram – dtkbeatpoetnbpf debbietosunkilday
Twitter – @TerapeneTweet @BeatPoetryFest @aboutCAPA
YouTube – Debbie Tosun Kilday
National Beat Poetry Foundation Inc.
Connecticut Authors & Publishers Association
LinkedIn – Debbie Tosun Kilday

New Book Alert: Accidental Gangster: Dutch Schultz and Me by Harriet Goodman Grayson

Connecticut Authors and Publisher’s Association is happy to share that one of our members, Harriet Goodman Grayson published her historical fiction book Accidental Gangster: Dutch Schultz and Me on March 15, 2022.

About the book:

Welcome to Prohibition and the Roaring Twenties. Meet Goldy Goldfarb, the “Accidental Gangster,” who is recruited by Dutch Schultz to run booze for him using his fishing boats based in the Rockaways. The isolation and the miles of unpatrolled beaches made the Rockaway, NY location very desirable for criminal activities. During those years, Goldy delivers the illegal goods to a thirsty American public for his boss. A loyal soldier for a notorious gangster, Goldy carried a gun and often feared for his life. If it wasn’t the Treasury Boys after him, it was his fellow gangsters. Learn how an ordinary man became involved in a criminal network. Familiar names from the era are part of the story. There’s the Lower East Side contingent of Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Segal and Lucky Luciano. Goldy’s old pals, The Brownsville Boys, are in the novel as well as the mentor to Lansky and Luciano, Arnold Rothstein, a notorious gambler who fixed the 1919 World Series. Based on true events in the life of author Harriet Goodman Grayson’s grandfather Goldy.

From the Author:

This book is dedicated to my grandfather Goldy. It’s all about booze smuggling during Prohibition and the Roaring Twenties. You meet the famous gangsters of the era including his boss Dutch Schultz as well as Meyer Lansky, Lucky Luciano, Bugsy Segal. Then there’s the most famous of them all, mentor to Lansky and Luciano, fixer of the 1919 World Series, Arnold Rothstein.

About the Author:

Ms. Goodman Grayson was educated as an urban planner working for the City of New York and the state of Colorado. She has also worked for major insurance companies in Springfield, Mass and New York City. In addition, she has worked for non-profit organizations as a fundraiser, grants writer and events planner and then as an entrepreneur since 2003. Her newest book is based on tales her mother told about her father’s exploits.

Find out more here.

or

Guideline for New Authors Part 2 ~ Guest Post from Mark L. Dressler

SELF PUBLISHING

Self-Publishing means you will do all the work, but you will receive all the royalties. The work includes finding the right editor for your manuscript. You have self-edited and are ready for the next steps, choosing your editor(s). There are four types, and depending on the quality of your manuscript you may or may not need all of them:

DEVELOPMENTAL editors provide detailed analysis of the story’s setting, plot, pacing, character development, and voice. They also do fact checking.

LINE editors go through every line looking for simpler ways of saying things, sentence structuring, unnecessary or missing words, redundancies.

COPY editors make sure the text is readable for publishing. They check syntax, punctuation, grammar, spelling, hyphenation, fonts, numbering consistency.

PROOFREADERS check for errors that may have slipped through the previous editing and ultimately okay the book for publishing.

NOTE: It is advisable to give your book one final read. It is your book. Some authors read their work aloud.

Book Formatting: Your manuscript is not ready for publishing until it has been put into book format. If you are skilled enough to use a computer program to do this, you may attempt it. You can also pay a formatter to convert your manuscript to book format for both e-books, and paperbacks.

Cover design: This is a critical part of the process. Your cover matters. Covers are designed in 3 segments and professional designers know how to create the BEST cover for your book utilizing the most effective backgrounds and images for your genre. Some genres will need a add a TAG LINE (A short catchphrase or slogan to attract readers attention). It is tempting and cheaper for you to create your cover from stock images, but a good cover designer can make the difference between FEW sales and MANY sales. Get references and examples of their work. Look at covers in your genre.

ISBNs: This 13-digit identifier is known as the International Standard Book Number. Bowker is the only company legally licensed to sell these identifiers to authors in the United States. The cost is $125 each, or a block of 10 is $295. Bowker does sell ISBNs to 3rd party purchasers who re-sell them to authors, but beware. The purchaser of an ISBN is the legal owner of the book publishing rights. These identifiers are not transferable. In order to retain publishing rights to your work, you should always obtain your ISBN from Bowker.

HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU EXPECT TO PAY TO SELF PUBLISH?

Editing prices vary and are often based upon the number of words or estimated hours of work. Book formatting and cover design expenses can vary as well. The ISBN cost is fixed. Expect to pay between $2,000 and $4,000 for these combined services.

SELF PUBLISHING VIA AMAZON KDP Publishing via AMAZON KDP is easy

You will need to set up a KDP account and then upload 3 documents: A formatted paperback PDF file, an e-book formatted file, and a book cover PDF file. KDP will lead you through their step-by-step process. Once your books have met their requirements, you can okay your books for sale. DO NOT sign off until you have ordered an Author Proof Copy to be sent to you. Proof it and then if you have no issues, release your book. Also, beware that if you opt to sign up for Kindle Unlimited, your e-book can only be available to KINDLE users and you cannot upload it to any other ebook platform such as Nook or Apple iBooks.

There is one downside to publishing solely via Amazon (KDP). Bookstores will not order stock from Amazon because the books are not returnable. This leads you to IngramSpark. When your book is available from Ingram, you may designate it as returnable so that bookstores may order your books for their inventory and for book events. When you own your ISBN, you can easily have your book made available from Ingram Spark as well as KDP, using the same ISBN. This can be done in one of two ways. You can upload your book to Ingram in the same manner as you did for KDP. An easier method is to request Ingram to process a Title Transfer from KDP. This process normally takes 30 days to complete. The only thing you must do is make sure your book is taken out of KDP Expanded Distribution. Your Amazon sales and appearance on the internet will not be impacted. You may also order author copies from either KDP or INGRAM.

INDEPENDENT AND SMALL PUBLISHERS

If you don’t want to self-publish and don’t want to wait for an agent/big publisher, there are also small or independent publishers. Small publishers are more nimble and can move a little faster than big publishing houses. As with anything in the publishing business: always do your homework. It is advised to have a lawyer read any contracts. Research what types of books they publish before even approaching them–do they sell books in your genre, and are they selling well? Do they have well-designed covers, can you use the “look inside” feature on Amazon and see if they look well written and well edited? It is important to note that true small and indie publishers should NEVER ask you for money. Just as with a big traditional publisher, they will edit, format, and publish your book for you. (If they are asking for money they could be a hybrid publisher, or simply a vanity publisher.)

HYBRID PUBLISHERS

These publishers combine elements of self-publishing and traditional publishing. They allow you to submit your manuscript to them and they evaluate whether to pursue publishing your work. You will be charged fees for their services that include editing, cover design, and marketing. These fees can range from $2,000 upward to five-digit numbers. The risks and rewards of signing with a hybrid publisher can be lucrative, or they can be costly. Find out all you can about a hybrid publisher before contracting with them. A lawyer reviewing the contract is always a good idea.

MARKETING

Regardless of whether you self-publish, or go the traditional, indie press, or hybrid route, you are still responsible for marketing your books. For self-publishers, know that Amazon only provides an online vehicle for purchasing books. YOU do all the marketing.

Beware of advertising ploys. Statistically, 90% of Indie Authors will not sell more than 300 books in their lifetime. Your chance of making money depends upon how aggressive you are at promoting yourself. This means navigating the computer waters of Facebook, blogging, websites, any type of social media advertising. Join Author groups and find events to attend. Schedule personal appearances. Authors often appear at libraries for book signings. However, most attendees if interested in your book, will not purchase it. They are library people, and will want to borrow it from the library. Find events that are lucrative. They can range from craft fairs to home shows where set-up fees vary.

About Mark L. Dressler

A former corporate manager and successful businessman, Mark began writing in 2014. He was born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut. His popular mysteries feature Dan Shields (The detective who breaks all the rules) and Lex Stall (Manhattan’s tenacious female detective). Dead and Gone (2017) and Dead Right (2019) feature Dan and take place in Hartford. The 3rd book in the Dan Shields series, Dead Wrong is scheduled for a January, 2022 release. Dying for Fame (2020) features Lex Stall with a cameo appearance from Dan Shields. In 2019, Mark was named a most notable author by the Hartford Courant and he has appeared on WTNH TV (Channel 8) in New Haven with Teresa Dufour on her well-known show CT STYLE. Mark has also been on FOX 61 TV in Hartford with Stan Simpson on his show, Real People.

Mark is proud to have been honored by THE BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL for his charitable donations from his books. He is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. Purchase his books on Amazon in kindle or paperback, or from any bookseller.

Guideline for New Authors Part 1 ~ Guest Post from Mark L. Dressler

Guest blog post by CAPA member Mark L. Dressler

Ask yourself why you are writing your story. Is the reason to make money? Is the reason self-satisfaction? Or both?

What is your story? A book, novella, short story? (Word count will dictate this industry categorization.)

What is the genre? Memoir, mystery, fantasy, romance, or another genre?

What to do once you have completed the first draft

BETA READERS

Not all authors use beta readers, but all authors self-edit. Beta Readers are avid readers of your genre whom you allow to read your manuscript for initial feedback. These readers should be people who can give you honest opinions. Friends and relatives are usually not good choices because they don’t want to offend you.

It is best to keep the number of beta readers to no more than a half-dozen because too much feedback can be distracting. Evaluate the comments and make changes, as necessary.

Remember, the perfect manuscript has yet to be written.

SELF EDITING

Self-editing your first draft is never the same as the finished product. Self-editing is your job, and the number of self-edits (rewrites) is up to you. After each self-edit, let the manuscript sit for at least 1-2 weeks before looking at it again with fresh eyes.

WHAT’S NEXT

Decide whether you want to pursue traditional publishing, self-publishing, hybrid publishing, or an independent publisher.

TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING

You must seek an agent in order to pursue traditional publishing. It is essential that your manuscript is as polished as possible prior to seeking an agent. Why? Agents do not want unprofessional work submitted to them, and you will only have one minute to impress them. (Some authors will hire an editor prior to submitting, but it is not a requirement–you should be able to judge the quality of your writing by the amount of critiques your beta readers had.)

How do you find an agent? There are publications that list agents. There are also online places to search. However, only a small percentage of submissions are ever successful. Do your research and find an agent, or an agent with an agency, who specializes in representing your genre. When you have identified a potential agent follow their submission guidelines. Do not vary one iota from their requirements. The agent will ask for a query letter. Some will also require a synopsis. They will likely ask for anywhere from 5 to 50 pages of your manuscript.

A query letter is a one-page document that allows you to introduce yourself and your work to the agent. Study examples of query letters. The objective is to give the agent a reason to read the partial manuscript that you have submitted.

The synopsis is a document intended to give the agent a sampling of your story. It should outline the plot and demonstrate a clear story arc. Plot twists, major characters and the climactic scene needs to be included. (Check your prospective agent’s requirements for required length.)

Expect to wait up to six weeks to hear from an agent. Some agents never respond other than to say they received your submission. (And that can be an automatically generated e-mail). Those who respond with a rejection will say something like “It’s not for me, good luck.” If you are lucky, the agent may request more of the manuscript. If you are extremely fortunate, they may offer you a contract. You should be seeking several agents at the same time, although agents say they do not appreciate that tactic. Be prepared for many rejections, possibly dozens or more depending how aggressive you are in your agent search.

IF YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL The agent will have drawn up a contract. It is important to note that proper literary agents do not charge you money. They make their money if/when they sell your book to a publisher. An agent’s job is to sell your book to one of the big 4 major publishing companies (Penguin/Random House, Simon and Schuster, Harper Collins, and MacMillan), or one of their imprints, or even small presses. Agents will sometimes make suggestions for changes to your manuscript. Once the agent is ready to move forward to the sale process, they will present your book to one or more of the publishers listed above. You can still be rejected, and the agent can sever your contract. When the agent has sold your book to a publisher, the publisher will assign an editor and you will be required to endure more editing, with strict timelines. Eventually, your book will be ready for publishing. Your cash advance will be calculated based upon the number of books the publisher designates in the first pressing. The agent’s usual commission is 15%. How long will it be before your book hits the bookstores? From the time your agent accepts you as a client, it generally takes about 2 years before your book is published. Since publishers have drastically reduced their advertising budgets, you will be required to actively participate in promoting your book.

Coming soon- look for Part 2: Self-Publishing and Additional Options.

Guest Post written by Mark L. Dressler


About Mark L. Dressler

A former corporate manager and successful businessman, Mark began writing in 2014. He was born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut. His popular mysteries feature Dan Shields (The detective who breaks all the rules) and Lex Stall (Manhattan’s tenacious female detective). Dead and Gone (2017) and Dead Right (2019) feature Dan and take place in Hartford. The 3rd book in the Dan Shields series, Dead Wrong is scheduled for a January, 2022 release. Dying for Fame (2020) features Lex Stall with a cameo appearance from Dan Shields. In 2019, Mark was named a most notable author by the Hartford Courant and he has appeared on WTNH TV (Channel 8) in New Haven with Teresa Dufour on her well-known show CT STYLE. Mark has also been on FOX 61 TV in Hartford with Stan Simpson on his show, Real People.

Mark is proud to have been honored by THE BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL for his charitable donations from his books. He is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. Purchase his books on Amazon in kindle or paperback, or from any bookseller.

Follow Mark on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MarkLDressler
Write him at mark.dressler17@gmail.com

Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association Names Robyn-Jay Bage as President

Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association (CAPA) voted last month that Robyn-Jay Bage, M.P.A. will become the next president of the organization. Her appointment took effect on January 1, 2022.

An administrator by trade, Robyn has over 30 years of experience in the operation of nonprofit organizations and is currently a professor teaching business, management, and marketing courses at a local community college. No stranger to volunteer service, she has served on the boards of directors of small and large organizations. Also an author, Robyn and her partner (and fellow CAPA member) Jonnie Owens write urban fantasy short-stories and novels. Their work has been indie published as well as traditionally published.

Robyn is excited to take on her role as President of CAPA. “The past two years have been quite a challenge for all of us. CAPA is ready to seek new ways to help our members advance their writing careers—2022 is going to be great!”

Robyn holds a bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science from National University in San Diego, CA, and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the State University of New York at Albany.

About CAPA
Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association is a not-for-profit professional organization for authors, publishers and other associated professionals in the writing and/or publishing industries. Established in 1994, CAPA offers learning and networking opportunities for members, and is also known for its bookstore in the Connecticut Building at the Big E.

Tips for Categories on Amazon

If you’re an indie/self-published author, keeping track of your Categories on Amazon is a useful tool to help boost visibility for your books–and it likely won’t cost you anything either. I’m going to show you some tips on your categories and also walk through why they’re important.

When you publish through Amazon’s KDP, they allow you to select two categories. But after your book is released, you can actually add up to eight more–for a total of ten categories. When browsing the product page on Amazon, they will only display up to three categories, but you can still be in ten.

Why do categories matter?

When you sell a book, your book moves up in the ranking of each category it’s in–the more you sell, the higher your ranking and the higher the chances of people seeing it. This doesn’t cost you anything. And if you sell enough books, maybe you’ll get one of those little orange flags that says #1 Bestseller in (Category Name). Which is exciting, and also fun to share on social media. So, the more categories you’re in, the more chances of a reader seeing your book.

Now, each category is different as far as how many books you need to sell in a certain amount of time in order to reach top ten or even number one. Getting in under 100 is also great, because when a person clicks on the link for the category, they can browse the top 100 books.

For example, if I were to list a hypothetical fantasy book about King Arthur in this category:
Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Epic
It would take 1800 sales in one day to get to the #1 spot, because it’s a very large and competitive category. If I narrow it down to:
Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Arthurian

It would take 84 sales per day.

Now, the above data is something I did get from software called Publisher Rocket, which is a paid software. (At the stage I’m at in my publishing career, I find it very useful, so I made the investment. Publisher Rocket also provides keywords, categories, and ASINS/book titles that are useful for Amazon Advertising, which is the main reason I have it. But I have a free tool in the next section to recommend as well.)

Going back to the Epic Fantasy vs. Arthurian categories–since you have the option of having ten categories, you might want your book in both of them anyway, but it’s best to try for some more niche categories as well.

BKLNK

Another way to research ideal categories is with a website called BKLNK.com. They offer a free search tool to help you find categories for your book. All you need is your ASIN.

This is what the search box looks like

Put in the ASIN and BKLNK will show you all the categories you are currently in:

This is helpful to see if you are in any categories that don’t seem to be working. Perhaps you’re in a category that isn’t right, or seems too vague. Make a list of the ones you want to get rid of–and later in this post I’ll explain how to get rid of them.

You’ll see in the above graphic a big green “Catalize” button. This is where BKLNK can help you discover new categories. Click that for one of your current categories, and it will show you all the other categories that people in said category are in as well. Confusing? Let me give you an example:
Above, I clicked Catalize on the Holiday Fiction Category. BKLBK then gave me this list of categories that 25 other books in Holiday Fiction were also in:

Now make a list of categories you want to add your book to.

You can also find categories manually–by searching on Amazon or even Goodreads for books you know are similar to yours, and noting which category they’re in. (And you can look up your comp titles on BKLNK too.)

Adding and Removing Categories

To add and remove your book from various categories on Amazon, you’ll need to go to your Amazon KDP Account. Once logged in, scroll all the way to the very bottom of the page and click “Contact Us”. From there, select the option “Amazon Store & Product Detail Page” and next: “Update Amazon Categories”

They will ask for your ASIN and you will be able to list categories to remove and to add in the contact box.

They are usually pretty quick about emailing a response when they’ve completed it, or if there are any issues to be resolved.

Good luck with your categories!

Liz Delton is the CAPA Publicity Director, author of the Realm of Camellia Series, the Arcera Trilogy, several Writer’s Notebooks, and more. Find her books on Amazon, or learn more at LizDelton.com

Upcoming Meetings

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Earlier this month, a poll was sent to CAPA members for feedback regarding attendance at in-person meetings. The results are telling:

  • 50% of respondents would be comfortable to attend an indoor, in-person meeting in August.
  • 54% of respondents would be comfortable to attend an indoor, in-person meeting in September.
  • For both questions, 30% of respondents were unsure.
  • 68% of respondents would like CAPA to routinely offer an option to attend remotely.

Considering the responses, CAPA Central, SW CAPA, and SE CAPA will meet remotely in August. CAPA Central and SW CAPA will also be remote in September. We are also exploring the option of offering a remote option for future in-person meetings.

Thank you to everyone who participated. We’ll keep you informed as we have more information.

Trevann Rogers, Vice President, CAPA

Trevann Rogers writes rock star romances, urban fantasy, and LGBT paranormal romances. She lives in Connecticut with Molly and Toby, two rescue puppies, and Lil Monkey, a sock monkey who thinks he’s real. Trevann’s work incorporates an unquenchable addiction to music and her love for vampires, Weres, incubi and rock stars. She writes long after the sun goes down because like these elusive creatures, she learned long ago that sometimes being yourself means Living After Midnight. You can find links to all of her Internet spaces here: